2019 Area test piece discussion thread

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by CousinJack, Jan 24, 2019.

  1. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,145
    @CousinJack: re. the importance of 'growing your own' players; I couldn't agree more!
    That is exactly the approach taken by the band I play with (in the Juniors, despite being an old codger!). At every concert, our MD plugs the training available, and that the band has a stock of loan instruments. At several concerts per year, the Junior band plays three pieces during the Main band's intermission, and the MD points out how many of the top players in the Main band started with the Juniors. In fact, the first time I saw the band play (with about thirty four players on stage), the MD said that all bar five of them started in the Juniors and worked their way up.
    As the Main band is now in the first section, the gap between the Juniors and Main band is considerable, so there are now two intermediate development groups (higher and lower; those in the higher dev. group all now play in the Main band). As well as forming stepping stones between Juniors and Main, they also give the MD the time and space to go through all the required skills and knowledge required to move up into the main band, and the time to continue their in-depth coaching so that, for example, they don't get to play 3rd cornet, and still find themselves on 3rd cornet five years later, because they don't have the skill to move up a slot. He can do that far more effectively away from a Main band rehearsal.
    With the numbers of learners we have coming through now, the tutoring we get from players in the main band, and the support from the main band when we reach a point of sitting in on main band rehearsals, it's quite reasonable to suppose that in the next few years we may have enough intermediate players of a sufficently good standard to do concerts in their own right - and possibly start contesting, too.
    But it has to be said that it's largely down to the hard work, support and persistance of the MD and his team of tutors, players in the main band, and the solid support of the committee - and, like Porthleven Town and Helston Town, it's not because there isn't another band for miles around. On the contrary; there are well over a dozen within 20 miles.
    I've been sitting at the back, listening and taking notes whilst the Main band has been working up 'Festival of Marches', and I have to agree with comments posted earlier - i.e., that it's not as simple a piece as it might appear at a quick listen. Bearing in mind my novice status, my impression of it is that it's the sort of piece which is not too hard for a decent band to play, as such - but quite tricky to play really well.
    I'll be going along to Bedworth on Saturday, to root for our band - and having listened to them working on this piece for several months, it will be very interesting to compare how other bands play it.
    But good luck to you all!
     
    bassmittens likes this.
  2. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    203
    How can you doubt it? 13 bands competed in the top section, 8 competed in the 4th. There may be more 4th section bands, but only 8 considered they had a a good enough ensemble to take to the areas, or alternatively, could afford to go.
    That's the grading system, whether it be from Yorkshire area or any other area, it may need changing, but all the area's have to agree
    Again, for that to happen, it would take all the area's to agree to it.
    I agree borrowing players is a short term solution, but if (and it's a big if) this encourages more struggling bands to compete it may help in the regeneration of the Yorkshire banding scene. I think Yorkshire is top heavy on upper section bands because they weathered the decimation of the main industry that supported the bands in the 80's better, and probably took the better players from the lower sections. The strange thing to anyone from outside the area is how can an area lose so many bands, yet the remaining bands struggle for players? for example in my home town there used to be 11 brass bands within 5 miles of the town centre, today there are 3, one has only about 12 players one doesn't have a band room and is short of players, just 1 has a full complement of players. All the bands that have dissolved were colliery bands, I believe when the colliery's closed people not only lost their jobs, they lost their way of life, brass banding was part of that way of life. Yorkshire (especially South Yorkshire) is slowly regenerating, I think banding will re-grow in the area, but I think in the meantime there is massive work to be done. Why? your point about junior/training bands are correct, but it is not as easy if you only have a few players in the main band-banding is a hobby and not everyone wants the commitment of teaching. Engaging with the community? absolutely, the problem is what happens when the community has died?.
     
    bassmittens and Slider1 like this.
  3. 2nd tenor

    2nd tenor Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,397
    Location:
    Chigley
    I don’t think that there is a simple fix as otherwise it probably would be in place already but, looking to the mid and longer term, something is needed. As players typically gravitate upwards the higher section Bands will almost certainly never be, but for rare exception, without a full set of players. It’s the lower section Bands that have the problems and they have them on competition day so a fix at that time (so for their immediate problem) is needed.

    Perhaps they already exist but if not then some guidelines for Adjudicator’s on how to (fairly to all) judge under strength Bands relative to full strength ones would be a start point. However, as I said in an earlier post, things will only change if suitable ideas are put forward to ‘the powers that be’ by the Bands effected.
     
  4. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    203
    Think your band may struggle- everybody else is playing 'Symphony of marches' :):):)
     
    rootertooter likes this.
  5. Jack E

    Jack E Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,145
    I doubt it - unlike me, the band doesn't suffer from typos . . .
    :p
     
    GER likes this.
  6. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Kent
    I Liked your comment, but with sadness
     
  7. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    203
    It was very sad writing it
     
    Slider1 likes this.
  8. Pastit

    Pastit Member

    Messages:
    98
    If I remember correctly, Balmoral Inventions was composed (and played off manuscript) for the contest at the request of the North Wales Committee by John Herbert who was at the time a trombone player with Ifton and also had played with Porthywaen and occasionally Rhos. I'm not sure it was even published. He is still around playing in local pit orchestras and the like.
     
    MoominDave likes this.
  9. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,573
    Location:
    Oxford
    Interesting! So Balmoral Inventions was by an entirely different person?
     
  10. Pastit

    Pastit Member

    Messages:
    98
    Yes I'm sure I remember John talking us through the piece at an early run through.
     
    MoominDave likes this.
  11. CousinJack

    CousinJack New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Greenwich/Mullion
    With the final round of area contests coming up this weekend is anyone aware of any rumours for the final test pieces? I know that we'll find out this weekend (I believe any way) but it's interesting to see if anyone has heard anything?
     
  12. Slider1

    Slider1 Active Member

    Messages:
    276
    Location:
    Kent
    Whatever Kapitol Can get their Hands on presumably:rolleyes::rolleyes:
     
  13. GER

    GER Active Member

    Messages:
    203
    The worst/best/ trickiest/simpleist/old school/ modernist/full of no/hidden suprises pieces they can find :):):)
     
  14. rootertooter

    rootertooter Member

    Messages:
    37
    Or what ever they get the largest kick back for possibly ?
     
    Slider1 likes this.
  15. CousinJack

    CousinJack New Member

    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Greenwich/Mullion
    I guess not then! I think it's pretty easy to guess what kind of piece each section will have:

    Championship section will either have a new piece or, more likely, a recent piece commissioned by a European band or a European band association.

    First section will have an old Champ section test piece.

    Second section will have a new piece or a recycled piece from the 90s/early 00s

    Third section will have a piece no one has heard of (but it'll be better than the area test piece)

    Fourth section will have a recent piece that hasn't be set for a contest, but will be a massive step up from the area test piece (and also better than the third section area test piece) or a recycled piece from the 60s that has been set a million times before for various contests
     
    Euphonium Lite likes this.
  16. LynneW

    LynneW Member

    Messages:
    156
    Location:
    Oxford
    To my knowledge the finals testpiece is never announced at the end of the areas. It's usually at least a couple of months later
     
  17. Euphonium Lite

    Euphonium Lite Active Member

    Messages:
    508
    Location:
    Dereham, Norfolk
    Usually end of May/beginning of June
     
  18. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,573
    Location:
    Oxford
    I will miss Seascapes. Proper music, stuff that you could keep digging in and find more and more patterns - plus it combines listenability with harmonically advanced writing in a way that I wish more band composers (or composers in general indeed) would emulate.

    Now how about Odin for the Areas next year while we're reprising undeservedly neglected 1980s pieces...
     
    davidsait and IoiBP like this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice